'We have to see how they play the game': Globe plays down impact of DITO

Nika Lazo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 10 2021 03:15 PM | Updated as of Feb 10 2021 05:41 PM

'We have to see how they play the game': Globe plays down impact of DITO 1
A Globe Store. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN

MANILA - Globe Telecom sees no significant impact on its business from the entry of third telco player DITO Telecommunity, which is set to launch services in March, the head of the Ayala-led telco said on Wednesday.

"On the mobile side, competition will remain the way it is. We're not certainly seeing yet an effect [from] DITO. But let's see what happens in March," said Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu during an online press briefing.

Cu noted that DITO has around 1,800 cell sites, while Globe and PLDT have around 11,000 cell sites each. 

"We have to see how that works out," he added. 

Cu also said that the prices of their voice, text and data offerings will not change as "prices are already very low." 

But he also said that Globe was ready to respond to any "aggression" that DITO may bring to the market. 

"We have to see how they play the game," Cu said. 

Meanwhile, Globe said it will continue its expansion plans this year by building 2,000 new cell sites, adding 2.5 times more fiber lines, and rolling out 5G in key cities in the country.

Competition will also shift from mobile to fixed-line broadband, citing Converge ICT's "very significant builds" and how DITO will enter this space.

To fund part of its P70 billion capital spending this year, Globe said it plans to enter the debt market. 

The company saw a 16 percent drop in net income last year to P18.6 billion versus P22.3 billion in 2019.

Globe expects its revenues to have a "low single-digit" growth for 2021 from 2020 given the high base of data consumption last year, and the slow reopening of the economy relative to their expansion.

Cu said the government "has been satisfied" with their performance report, citing improved internet speeds and continued expansion plans to meet the demand for faster internet.

"We gave the government a guarantee that service will improve. And third parties like Ookla and Opensignal provided that the Philippines is the most improved country in internet speeds -- Globe, in particular, has the most improved performance. I think the Palace has been satisfied, and they are continuously monitoring," the Globe chief said.

Globe said it built around 1,300 new cell sites or cell towers last year, upgraded 11,529 sites to 4G or LTE, and rolled out 5G to 1,045 sites nationwide.

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